11 Dead, Including Gunman, in Ala. Rampage

Associated Press
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SAMSON, Ala., March 10 -- A gunman on a rampage across two southern Alabama counties killed at least 10 people Tuesday, including members of his family and apparent strangers, and burned down his mother's house before fatally shooting himself, authorities said.

Police were investigating shootings in at least four locations, all suspected to be the work of a single gunman identified as Michael McLendon of Kinston.

The afternoon of bloodshed began in Kinston, near the Florida border, where McLendon burned down his mother's house, according to the Coffee County coroner, Robert Preachers. Officials located Lisa McLendon's body inside the house, but they had not been able to get inside the still-burning structure to determine whether he shot her first.

The gunman then headed east, into Geneva County, where he shot and killed five people at a house in the nearby town of Samson. Then he killed one person each in two other homes.

McLendon also shot at a state trooper's car, striking it seven times and wounding the trooper with broken glass. He then killed someone at a Samson supply store and another person at a service station.

Preachers said the victims included McLendon's grandfather, aunt and uncle. "We don't know what triggered it," he said of the shootings.

Police pursued McLendon to Reliable Metal Products, a business near Geneva, about a dozen miles southeast of Samson. There, he fired an estimated 30 rounds, then went into the plant and shot himself, the state safety department said. The gunman had worked at Reliable Metal, said state Rep. Warren Beck (R).

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